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Union eyes races for the White House and Congress

New York Teacher
Union eyes races for the White House and Congress
Erica Berger

UFT President Michael Mulgrew emphasized the importance of this year’s congressional and presidential elections.

UFT President Michael Mulgrew emphasized in his Delegate Assembly report on May 22 that New York State congressional races might be just as important as the presidential election in 2024.

“For the first time in many national election cycles, a lot of attention and probably money is going to get poured into the state of New York, because both sides are telling everyone that who controls the Congress will be decided here,” Mulgrew said.

He reminded the body that primaries would be held in New York on June 25 and that members — especially Retired Teachers Chapter members — would soon be called on to get out the vote for UFT-endorsed candidates in New York State and elsewhere.

“If we do this work right, the control of Congress will be by people who actually like public education and unionized workers,” he said.

Mulgrew said that the union’s push to get next year’s school calendar released a year early cleared the way for schools to get a jump on voting on school-based options for the 2024–25 school year.

“The most utilized part of our actual contract now is the SBO process,” he said.

Mulgrew noted that the citywide special education training and new school-based special education committees that were part of the 2023 DOE-UFT contract have resulted in a record number of special education complaints being filed this school year.

He said the spring meeting of the special education committee with the principal was the time to nip compliance issues in the bud before the start of the next school year.

Mulgrew also noted in his report that 155 high schools had applied for the virtual learning program agreed to in the 2023 contract, and 122 of them had been approved.

“But,” he reminded the delegate body, “virtual learning was not designed for credit recovery and shouldn’t be used as such.”